South Africa: Major intervention on the cards for Eastern Cape education

Cape Town – Government is considering a sustainable intervention for the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape, said President Jacob Zuma.

This follows concerns regarding the termination of the contracts of over 4 000 temporary teachers in the province, resulting in many schools facing shortages of teachers.

In response to the debate on the State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly, President Jacob Zuma said he had received a comprehensive briefing from the Minister and Deputy Minister of Basic Education, who had visited the province recently.

“The Learner and Teacher Support Materials have not been adequately delivered. This has led to a situation where there are learners without textbooks. The school nutrition programme has collapsed and scholar transport came to a total halt in many areas.

“As of now, the Triple T call to prioritise teachers, textbooks and time, cannot be implemented in the Eastern Cape. Any intervention will occur with the full knowledge, approval and co-operation of the Premier of the Eastern Cape and the MEC for Education in the province. It will be designed to assist the province to effectively administer education,” said Zuma.

He said to help prevent situations such as those in the Eastern Cape, government had established the National Education Evaluation Unit, which will ensure that the schooling system is effectively monitored and evaluated.

He also called on teachers to be in class on time for teaching for seven hours a day, also urging parents and communities to be at schools to ensure that learners were in class, ready to learn and to cooperate with their teachers.

“We welcome the support for the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign, which makes education a societal issue rather than a matter for individual schools,” said Zuma.

The President added that, nationally, government plans to improve about 3 600 schools in terms of safety and functionality levels by 2014, adding that this year, close to 100 mud buildings and 246 inappropriate structures will be replaced.

He added that the Department of Basic Education and the Police have been directed to work together to prevent and respond to violence in schools.

Source – BuaNews